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JOURNALIST FOUND DEAD. Yuriy Honchar, a part-time correspondent for the "Fakty i Kommentarii" newspaper, has been found dead in Kyiv, apparently as the result of violence, UNIAN reported on 25 October, quoting a police source. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 26 October)

TELEVISION QUESTIONS OFFICIAL VERSION OF JOURNALIST'S DEATH. Ukrainian Television on 28 October broadcast a 25-minute film questioning the official version of the death of journalist Ihor Aleksandrov in Slavyansk, Luhansk Oblast, in July. Prosecutor-General Mykhaylo Potebenko has announced that Aleksandrov was mistakenly killed by a homeless man who intended to kill Aleksandrov's lawyer. Two former police officers said in the film that Aleksandrov was killed by a group responsible for a number of contract killings in the Luhansk region in recent years. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 30 October)

RUSSIA PLEASED UKRAINE HAS DESTROYED LAST TWO ICBM SITES. Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Yakovenko said on 1 November that Moscow is pleased by reports that Ukraine has destroyed the last two ICBM silos on its territory in conformity with the 1992 Lisbon Protocol to the START-I treaty, ITAR-TASS reported. PG

UKRAINIAN PREMIER SATISFIED WITH U.S. TRIP. Anatoliy Kinakh said on 1 November that he agreed with the leadership of the IMF and the World Bank in Washington during his three-day U.S. trip (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 31 October and 1 November 2001) to deepen mutual cooperation in order to strengthen Ukraine's banking system, Interfax reported. Kinakh said Ukraine's relations with the IMF and the World Bank are of a "long-term character and based on equal rights." Commenting on his trade negotiations with U.S. officials, Kinakh noted that they took place in a "constructive and open atmosphere" and were characterized by "willingness to seek compromises." Kinakh also said the U.S. has put off "indefinitely" the announced introduction of trade sanctions over Ukraine's inability to curb piracy of music on compact discs. Meanwhile, a U.S. trade official said the previous day that the U.S. has postponed the decision on the trade sanctions against Ukraine until 15 November, when the Ukrainian parliament is expected to debate a bill on the protection of intellectual property. JM

UKRAINIAN, RUSSIAN EXPERTS VIEW COMPUTER SIMULATION OF PLANE DISASTER. Ukrainian and Russian officials and experts on 1 November traveled to a military training ground in Crimea to view a computer simulation to determine how a Ukrainian missile could have shot down a Russian airliner with 78 people aboard on 4 October, Interfax reported. Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council chief Yevhen Marchuk suggested that "reflections from the water surface" of the Black Sea could have disrupted signals to a Ukrainian missile that deviated from its course and downed the plane. Russian Security Council Secretary Vladimir Rushailo agreed with preliminary conclusions that the tragedy was the result of a combination of unusual circumstances and technical reasons. "Final conclusions will be made by the Ukrainian side," the agency quoted Rushailo as saying. JM

UKRAINE EXCEEDS GRAIN HARVEST TARGET BY 5 MILLION TONS. Deputy Prime Minister Leonid Kozachenko on 1 November said Ukraine has harvested 40 million tons of grain crops including maize, which is 5 million tons more than the government's target for 2001, UNIAN reported. Kozachenko said agricultural production growth now stands at 10 percent, while the food-processing industry is up 60 percent compared with the same period in 1999. According to Kozachenko, Ukraine currently covers 95 percent of its food demand domestically and only 5 percent through imports. Kozachenko also noted that for the first time in 10 years Ukraine has registered no decrease in its number of livestock. JM

UKRAINE SEES DRAMATIC INCREASE IN OIL, GAS THEFTS. Mykhaylo Korniyenko, the head of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry's Chief Department for Combating Organized Crime, told journalists on 1 November that Naftohaz Ukrayiny suffered losses of 16 million hryvni ($3 million) in 2001 due to the illegal siphoning of oil and gas condensate from pipelines, ITAR-TASS reported. Korniyenko said the company registered 60-70 cases of such thefts in previous years, while the figure for this year has already reached 949. According to Korniyenko, the situation is dangerous, particularly since criminal groups steal gas and oil in cooperation with officials from the country's oil and gas sector. Korniyenko pointed to the fact that oil and gas are usually stolen from the pipelines that are not guarded. Only 1,400 out of the 76,700 kilometers of Ukrainian pipelines are guarded. JM